The majority of students are worried about their future career prospects as they face an economy blighted by the COVID-19 crisis, a recent survey has found.
A poll of 2222 students conducted by UNiDAYS and insurance company Urban Jungle, conducted in October 2020, found that 68% expressed concern for their futures.
When asked the question: ‘Are you worried about your career prospects?’, 36% said they were worried, and 32% said they were ‘slightly concerned’.
Just one in 10 said they believed they will have a ‘great future’ whereas 16% said they would be ‘ok’.
Jimmy Williams, CEO of Urban Jungle, who employs 25 staff, most of whom are under the age of 30, says he’s concerned about the impact 2020 is having on young people’s careers and mental wellbeing.
“I am concerned that not enough consideration is being put into the lives of young people. From the A-levels fiasco and student lockdowns to the bleak employment prospects, 2020 hasn’t been a good year for students and young adults.
“We hope this will soon change, and there will be more effort to support careers and training for the people coming into the workforce in the near future.”
Williams says his experience of hiring and working with younger adults is very different from that depicted in some quarters.
“There’s a stereotype that young people are out breaking the rules and having parties – but the reality is different. Lots of younger employees are working from home in less than ideal settings, and without the day to day support of seeing colleagues over coffee or lunch, plus the constant bad news flow means many are struggling with their mental health.”
Recently, Urban Jungle created a mental health fund for its employees, allocating £100 per month for each employee to be spent on counselling, therapeutics or other feel-good measures. The company has also started weekly yoga sessions via Zoom.
“We used to go out for drinks as a team, but now our team’s happy hour is more likely to be counselling or yoga,” adds Williams.
To ease students’ worries and help them plan their future careers, Urban Jungle has created an online guide, ‘How Students can Get Ahead Post-Covid‘. The guide includes recorded tips from leading business experts including Simon Paine, CEO of PopUp Business School, career success coach Jaz Broughton and Luke Mead, who set up his own IT company, LMS Group when he was just 15 years old.
Urban Jungle provides insurance to generation rent and millennials. Since its launch in 2016, the company has grown to 25 staff, amassed over 25,000 customers and raised £7.8 million in funding from private investors and VCs.